‘West Side Story’ revealed in talk hosted by RIT’s School of Individualized Study

Author/historian delves into the play and movie that made American musical history




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Julia Foulkes

The iconic film West Side Story revealed much about multicultural life of mid-20th century New York, according to Julia Foulkes, professor of history at The New School in New York.

She will be discussing her book, A Place for Us: West Side Story and New York, as the guest speaker of The Crossroads: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on American Music Speaker Series hosted by the School of Individualized Study at Rochester Institute of Technology. The author will speak from 3 to 4:30 p.m. March 6 at Liberal Arts Hall, room A205. The event is free and open to the public.

Foulkes investigates interdisciplinary questions about the arts, urban studies and history in her research and teaching. In her book on West Side Story, the author utilizes revelatory papers from director and choreographer Jerome Robbins—showing the crucial role played by the political commitments of Robbins and his gay, Jewish collaborators Leonard Bernstein and Arthur Laurents.

Foulkes is also the author of Modern Bodies: Dance and American Modernism from Martha Graham to Alvin Ailey and To the City: Urban Photographs of the New Deal.

Co-sponsors of The Crossroad event are the RIT Office of the Provost, the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Performing Arts & Visual Culture.

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Julia Foulkes